Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Load 'em Up and Move 'em Out

Tonight was an amazing evening of overflow. The Brothers In Need Pantry is FULL. What was left over turned out to be equal to two UHaul Trucks as well as one CCO Van and Trailer. Thank you to everyone who has come out to help serve "the least of these" by getting this food ready for distribution! What an amazing thing God is doing through you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

When the Bags Come Marching In

Wow. THANK YOU to all of you who stepped in and created a moment that will not be too quickly forgotten around CCO. While we anticipated a great response, it was still overwhelming to see it all! God is good and His people are finding their place in His story!

Again - thank you for helping and leading and turning what could have been complete chaos into at least controlled chaos :) What a place for a yellow-shirted teenager to get to be part the love of Jesus being carried in by the bagful. What a place for a family to get to make a shopping trip of food that they will never eat. What a place for a banker to be driving a gator all morning gathering food.

Tonight 75-80 people showed up and the food bags were sorted. Young and old. Families serving together. Little kids pushing carts of food to adults that sorting everything out. Each row of chairs in the worship center has been converted into a shelf holding a specific item. You should see all the Quick Oatmeal where the Gilmans sit and all the Cereal Boxes where McGrews sit! It's amazing. The Brothers In Need Pantry is full. FULL. F-U-L-L. We have SO much food left over that we are going to show up and surprise some other food pantry ministries here in town. We gathering boxes from stores tonight and tomorrow so that the Tuesday night volunteers can box up the sorted items. We hope to have three rental moving trucks ready to go tomorrow night so they can be loaded and will go out Wednesday to those ministries.

Again, we can't say it enough -- THANK YOU for all your work! Thank you for doing your part in making the name of Jesus known to a community that is hungry for more.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Getting Food or Taking the Time

A few nights ago, we all went to Wal-Mart to fill grocery bags for this week’s service project. We were checking out and I was paying and loading our groceries into our cart. My wife was taking care of our baby boy and our teenage daughter noticed something. Four or five lanes down, a lady in a motorized shopping cart was checking out and having some difficulty. Our daughter went to help her. The next thing we know, she's on her way out to the parking lot to help her load up. She then spent a few minutes just talking with her. It really made me think...which of us truly showed the servant’s heart. Just completing the task of getting groceries or taking the time to make the most of an opportunity to show His love?

Submitted by Ryan Springer

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hungry at D & 96 Hwy

I spent the morning at the intersection of highways D and 96 with raggedy clothes, no shoes or socks and a sign that read HUNGRY. As many passed by, I started to pray and wonder what would happen as time passed.

Our goal in doing this was not to mock a horrible situation or make people feel poorly for passing by. Our goal was to initiate conversation and thought. Our goal was to share with people how, as we meet people’s physical needs, we show them the love of Jesus. In doing so, we also point them to the One who can meet their spiritual needs.

The first person stopped. He asked if he could buy me some breakfast. As I explained what we were doing at church, how I was a pastor, and how we were using this as a tool to speak with others, he explained to me that he was a pastor. We were able to pray together, and hopefully a friendship was started.

As the day continued, many people passed by, but a lot of people stopped to bring food, give money, and even give clothing and shoes (not all of it was received, but some people insisted that the money go to the church). In fact, one couple stopped with full rain gear, boots included! As people stopped, the conversation went something like this:

They would get my attention; I would ask if they were a Christian (only about 3 out of 40 or so people that stopped said they weren’t Christian); I would ask if they went to church; they would reply (if they said no, I would invite them to CCO); I would explain what I was doing there and what we were doing as a church; I would ask if we could pray (that was my favorite part! I got to pray with over 40 people on Sunday, two of whom weren’t Christian but really wanted to start going to church!); I would pray and thank them.

Of course, there is always someone who will not be pleased. There was an elderly lady who was not a Christian who became offended when she found out I wasn’t homeless. She drove off in a huff, and about twenty minutes later, a police officer pulled over. He said there was a complaint from a woman who said that I shouldn’t be there. He asked me what I was doing, and as I explained, he encouraged me. We talked for about a half hour, and he told me he was involved with the youth group at his church. (He was actually the brother of one of CCO’s members). He explained that while it was not illegal for me to be there, he would feel better if I moved down the block for safety reasons. I obliged and continued to sit and wait for the next person to stop.

Throughout the day I was able to meet so many people that I didn’t know before from CCO. I was also able to meet brothers and sisters from other congregations in the area. I was able to laugh with some, cry with some and pray for others who had illnesses and difficult situations. It was an amazing morning! It is awesome to see what the Body of Christ can do when we are Christ-centered and not self-centered.

As we learned this morning, “whatever you do for the least of these you do for Me”. I pray that we would continue to love Jesus and love others; that we would continue to meet the tangible needs of others to show them the love of Jesus and point them to Him; and that we would understand that Jesus is the One who will meet the needs of others both physically and spiritually. I praise God for all of you and am excited to see how we can honor Him in all we say and do. Imagine…

Adam Scutti,
Associate Discipleship Minister
Email Adam

HUNGRY :: Brothers In Need Ministry

Monday, April 13, 2009

Imagine Series Overview

Worship. Learn. Serve. Those are our core values at CCO. While our individual ministries recruit to serve at a lot of internal opportunities – as a church we don’t offer a lot of external opportunities to serve. Our Sunday morning messages will expose the text of Matthew 25 concerning what Jesus said about doing “for the least of these”. Along with that, the writer James says, we must be more than hearers of the Word. We will also be exposing opportunities of local projects and ministries that our people, families, LifeGroups, and Church can wrap our arms around.

Our aim is not that people from CCO just fill a bag with stuff and pat themselves on the back. We want everyone to find an external opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to “the least of these” and maybe connect with them for ongoing service and ministry.

Imagine what God could do with a life that is sold out for His story. Imagine what God could do through a community of believers that desire nothing more than to make the name of Jesus known. We want to hear and see the story that God is writing with your life as we journey this road together. Imagine.